Boston’s New Lead Singer: Some Fat Guy from Home Depot. Really.

1212526140Tommy DeCarlo’s primary gig involves wearing an orange apron as a credit manager at a Home Depot in Charlotte, North Carolina. But starting Saturday the 43-year old father of two has a new gig: the lead singer of Boston. That’s right, Boston. DeCarlo will front their summer tour and appear on their next album, scheduled for early 2009.

This guy’s ascension to the helm of the best-named band in rock history—if we do say so ourselves—is even more unbelievable when you consider his rock ‘n’ roll experience. He doesn’t have any.

DeCarlo performed karaoke in a bowling alley (he admits that most of the 30 or 40 people were bowling) and he sang “After the Lovin'” at his grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary (he claims they enjoyed it). He never even landed a solo in his elementary school choir.

DeCarlo’s catapultic rise began when he posted karaoke covers singing Boston songs on his MySpace page. The songs were posted in tribute to Brad Delp, the lead vocalist of Boston, who committed suicide in March of 2007. Tom Scholz, Boston’s lead guitarist and one of the founding members (weird fact: Scholz has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT), heard his wife playing DeCarlo’s cover on the computer and thought he was listening to a recording of Brad Delp singing “Don’t Look Back.”

An awed Scholz invited DeCarlo last year to an audition for the band and a few weeks later DeCarlo performed with Boston at the Bank of America Pavilion for a Delp tribute show. He was billed there as a fan and fan only. But DeCarlo recently learned that the band wanted him for much more than that.

Our favorite part of this rock n’ roll fantasy: DeCarlo managed to secure his dream without embarrassing himself on American Idol.

—David Mashburn